We're All Drinking Pee!

June 5th, Protest the Pill Day, is what? Maybe somebody's getting bad Ectasy? Naw, birth control pills kill the environment, y'see.

Well, according to all these groups, most of which have “por-life” in their names, meaning “trash the environment to support wars”. They're on about hormonal estrogen in our water--let's see what that is.

Hmmm, near as I can tell, women are taking birth control pills and then peeing in our drinking water, so we all ingest scary female hormones and lose our manly masculinity. The Horror! We need to find these women, and stop them.

I'm no chemist, but this paper for a Chemistry class says what their “hormonal estrogen” is. Don't color me surprised to find out some chemicals mimic the effects of natural estrogens.
What chemicals?
Well,  "various synthetic chemicals used in pesticides, pharmaceuticals, industrial chemicals, household detergents, spermicides, food packing agents, plastics, and sewage treatments” and natural plant produced compounds. Sewage treatment uses some 360,000 tons per year of one, alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs). There's apes in your sewers, lol.

So the water downstream from a sewer plant is polluted. Duhh. Where are these women peeing in it? If women are peeing, aren't men peeing too? Why are you drinking it?

Here's the National Catholic Register of Knotted Panties saying “OMG before our drinking water is treated there's a zillion chemicals in it and one of them has the same name as a chemical in birth control pills we're ALL GONNA DIE!!! 1!!ELEBENTY!!1

They studied the fish and decided the main culprits were estrogens and other steroid hormones from birth control pills ”

which is what you get when you put on your Catholic Goggles and read this:

“...effluent contained a complex mixture of endocrine-active chemicals, including 17beta-estradiol (E2) 17alpha-ethynylestradiol, alkylphenols, and bisphenol A resulting in an estimated total estrogen equivalence of up to 31 ng E2 L(-1). These results indicate that the reproductive potential of native fishes may be compromised in wastewater-dominated streams.”

SEE? Told ya. Now let's all make up signs and march for “I'm Too Dumb to Understand Chemistry Day”. Jeez.


Cynical Nymph said...

...... I can't help but notice that they don't seem worried about all the men peeing Viagra into our water?

Viagra isn't interrupting or altering the process of "natural" procreation, eh?

Marzie said...

Well, I AM a chemist, Uzza dear, and I direct these silly, silly people to several salient facts.

1) The solubility of steroid hormones in water is quite low.

Check out:

A cubic meter is known as *1000* Liters and those are micrograms.

2) Steroid hormones should be the least of our worries compared to things like Bisphenol A, a known endocrine disruptor with an aqueous solubility of 120-300 mg per LITER and which is far more ubiquitous in our environment.


And all I can say is that if I liked you before, now I truly adore you because you not only have an abundance of common sense- you aren't afraid of chemistry! Yay! xoxo

uzza said...

Wow, what great comments I'm getting lately.

Viagra, ewww. Everything about it squicks me out.

I never even heard of bisphenol before. Not sure what to think about that.

Cynical Nymph said...

There was a fun kind of pop-science infographic (in maybe the NY Times or their Magazine? Maybe it was NY Mag?) relatively recently that was a "fishy" made of pills that purported to illustrate the pharmaceutical components found in fish from Lake Michigan. I'll see if I can find it, but so far I'm not having any luck. If I remember correctly, an antidepressant was one of the larger percentages, and I remember thinking, "Hm. Not a bad idea." (Jokingly, natch.)